Originally posted Dec. 9, 2012 as “A Tale of Two Coffee Shops”. Updated May 1, 2015
I often find myself traveling north from Halifax, or returning from New Glasgow, Cape Breton or New Brunswick. On these trips I almost always find myself wondering where to get a good coffee in Truro. I am usually in a rush but would rather not stop at the ‘usual suspects’ for roadside coffee (see: Tim Hortons, McDonalds). Recently I spent a day exploring Truro and made finding a place to get good coffee my top priority.
Thanks to twitter, identifying a few places wasn’t that difficult. So, twitter list in hand, we parked the car and grabbed our mugs for a little coffee shop hop.
We started at Calabay Cafe (formerly CoCo Community Cafe) on Prince Street. The shop has a funky vintage feel with a little bit of the caribbean thrown in. Tables are covered in the burlap bags from the Just Us coffee they serve on-site, and there’s lots of art and colourful knick-knacks filling the space.
It’s a comfortable spot to kick up your feet for a little working breakfast or lunch. The cafe has free internet and a range of simple comfort foods like chilli, soups, baked goods, sandwiches, salads, wine and beer.
If you’re in a rush, get your coffee to go. They have take away options or can fill up your travel mug.
Next we headed up Prince Street and turned onto Inglis Street to compare Jimolly’s with Calabay. Compare is the key word here as there isn’t a whole lot to contrast. Stand-up piano, walls covered with various vintage items, cozy sitting area by a fireplaces, wide variety of fresh baked goods, we had to do a double-take to make sure we hadn’t got spun around. The main difference between Calabay and Jimolly’s is that where Calabay serves Just Us, Jimolly’s offers Java Blend and Full Steam.
It’s a fun place to play “I Spy”…
Both places also have some tasty sounding breakfast and lunch options, so I have no worries about finding a great place to stop in for a coffee and a bite to eat when I’m in Truro. I’d have a hard time picking one over the other, unless I’m craving a specific coffee flavour that day, and they are both leaps and bounds better than any of the other options in the area.
Finally, we stopped into NovelTea, a new café and book store in Truro.
There was tea, there were novels, and there were novelties. Never has a place better lived up to its name. We had heard about it earlier this year and I for one immediately started dreaming about cozy corners and steaming mugs of tea. But NovelTea is much cooler than my imagination gave it credit for.
Opened in June 2014, NovelTea combines tea, coffee, and a curated selection of second hand books with fun and quirky local finds. It’s big, bright, and funky inside with upbeat music, cozy leather coaches, pops of red, yellow, and green, and bright pieces of art on the walls. The big space was packed during our visit, but thankfully, they’re expanding. The new addition will more than double the current space.
Drew ordered a coffee and I ordered a Pomegranate Mojito Iced Tea, an herbal tea poured over POM syrup and ice. We (appropriately) curled up with our drinks and a book.
What’s your favourite coffee shop in Truro? Let us know in the comments!
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